It's been a busy few days in Parliament as we get back in business now NZ is back at Level 1 around the country. This past week I've been tackling the big questions with RNZ, TVNZ and other media agencies as well as raising important questions about the future of the digital economy online!
As you will know over the weekend Auckland and the rest of New Zealand are now back at Level 1 and it's clear it's time to build a Trans-Tasman Bubble with Australia. We know that safe travel can be accomplished with our partners over the Tasman and it's ridiculous that despite months of negotiation the Government has failed to implement the processes needed to reunite friends and family between our two countries. By building the Travel bubble we will also be able to dramatically reduce MIQ Spaces helping more Kiwis return from further afield around the world, it's not good enough that Kiwis are having to wait months for the chance to return home.
Frankly, It’s time for the Aussie trans-Tasman Safe Travel Bubble to open.
Make sure you sign National's Petition here!
Kiwiblog Guest Posts
Over the last month the well-renowned digital platform Kiwiblog has been kind enough to host two Opinion Pieces I wrote about the future of Media in New Zealand. These posts cover issues facing New Zealand in the media sector as more public funds are dedicated into the journalism sector as well as issues our nation faces with pending legislation.
I also sat down with my Caucus Colleague Simon O'Connor who holds the Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio for a chat about issues in the media sector -make sure to have a listen!
You can find the articles below and I would love to hear your views on the issues I have raised:
West Coast Connectivity with Maureen Pugh
Last week I joined National West Coast based List MP Maureen Pugh for a conversation with local communities about issues facing their connectivity issues. It was also great to catch up with some ethnic business in Greymouth.
It's not good enough communities like Dunollie just north of Greymouth are unable to receive emergency alerts when COVID-19 or tsunami crises affect their township. It was a constructive meeting with many locals joining us at the Dunollie Pub so I could hear their concerns. We'll keep putting pressure on the Minister and Telcos to get them and others the connectivity we need. You can see some of the questions I've asked the Minister here.
We also connected with local ethnic communities having a conversation with the Organisers of New Coasters, a great social initiative to help new migrants from NZ and abroad to the Coast connect with one another and share their cultures.
We held a great working lunch at local Greymouth Indian Cafe Priya with Development West Coast CEO Heath Milne discussing the local economy. We capped off our travels with discussions with the Mayors of the Grey and Westland District Councils Tania Dalton and Bruce Smith (who was busy making final preparations for the WildFoods Festival the next day!)
The weather was stunning as we visited businesses from Hokitika to Greymouth and it was clear the West Coast is absolutely a destination all Kiwis should take the time to visit for their next holiday!
Thank you to Bruce, Tania, my old Caucus Colleague Chris Auchinvole and everyone else we meet through the day - you can hear me and Maureen share our views on the wonderful day of visits live from the beautiful Greymouth Harbour Wharf.
A few days ago I jumped on Zoom to talk to an amazing group of Students from the University of Nagano to talk about my role as a New Zealand Member of Parliament and the important cultural ties we have between New Zealand and Japan. Many of the students had visited New Zealand as part of an exchange programme with New Zealand Universities (two had even met with me on a visit two years ago!) it was a real pleasure to chat and I look forward to a day in the near future we can have these conversations in person once more.
We had a fascinating discussion about diversity, racism and tolerance in our respective countries. The students were keen to tackle the hard questions and really look forward to returning to New Zealand again soon.
Thai Pongal at Parliament
Thai Pongal is an important South Indian Harvest Festival and it was a delight to join members of New Zealand's Tamil community and my brother Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi for this important occasion in our Parliament!
New Office Location
Just another reminder that over the summer break I moved my office to 107 Great South Road in Greenlane. I'm in the process of hiring a new support team and will introduce new staff in my next newsletter. My new support Team in Auckland will be predominantly focusing on outreach to multicultural communities and I will be continuing to be involved in the Mt Albert Community as well as an Auckland based List MP.
In the meantime please note that some Contact details have changed:
My new Office phone number is 09 520 0538 - if you dial the old one it will re-route either to this one or my Wellington Office.
The new Postal Address for the Auckland Office is PO Box 74271 Greenlane Auckland 1546
As usual you can always send postage free any information to my Wellington Office in Parliament at: Office of Melissa Lee MP, Freepost, Parliament Buildings, Private Bag 18888, Wellington 6160
My Email address at [email protected] remains the same and is regularly monitored.
All the best!
National List MP based in Auckland
Authorised by Melissa Lee Parliament Buildings, Wellington
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